People often say to us, “I would like to franchise my business but I am not sure where to start.” Franchising is an effective and powerful way to grow a business. The key to franchising, as with any new business venture, is to approach the idea and business strategy with as much information as possible.
In order to franchise your business, you have to have a business concept that can be duplicated. The process of marketing and selling franchises is new and unique to most. There are a few key factors that determine what separates successful franchise marketers from unsuccessful ones.
This blog covers four key principles for anyone considering franchising their business. When people ask me what is the most important thing to do to “franchise my business” I tell them that first and foremost franchise marketing takes a budget. We have been involved in hundreds of new franchise development and sales transactions.
While a very small percentage of those came to my clients through referrals or contacts they had prior to franchising their business, the vast majority came through good old-fashioned advertising. You do have to advertise to attract good franchise prospects. I tell my clients that they should put together a marketing budget with two components to it.
First, you should budget something up front for a brochure, printed materials, a good website and other program pieces that are necessary to attract buyers. Then on a monthly timeframe, start out with a budget for lead generation activities. This can run anywhere from hundreds of dollars a month to a few thousand dollars a month. We don’t recommend that you go into franchising without some kind of a budget for marketing the business.
The second key principle to take into account after developing a marketing budget is that you need to have a compelling story or selling proposition for your business concept. What makes you different from every other business out there in the license/franchise/business opportunity world? If you can’t say something to yourself in the mirror that makes you smile, you’re probably going to have a hard time getting other people to find it interesting.
Develop this value proposition in the form of an elevator pitch and nail it down before you start talking to people. If there is one thing that I know about franchise buyer leads, it is that they have a short attention span….you must articulate it quickly or you will get hung up on.
The third key principle to consider is that if you don’t like making a lot of sales calls and “working the phones”, you will need to budget for a salesperson to do this for you. Franchising is a sales business, don’t let anyone fool you. It is a contact sport and it takes hundreds and hundreds of phone calls to land franchise partners.
A good franchise salesperson will make anywhere from 75-150 phone calls per day. In many instances, I have personally called a good prospect over 40 times just to get a meeting with them regarding the franchise opportunity. It is easy to monitor and 99 out of 100 times, the salespeople who create the most activity are the ones who close deals. You have to burn up the phone lines to see the revenue come in.
The fourth principle is that it’s okay to be “out there”. Remember that you are probably one of several franchise opportunities that a buyer is considering at any given time. If you do not leave an impression on that buyer, they will very likely forget about you. Be aggressive and tell them what you are good at and how it will benefit them!
What I love most about franchising is that it helps people become entrepreneurs, which is the most empowering thing in the world. It is important for you as a franchise salesperson or franchise consultant, to lead your prospects through the decision-making process.
When you approach the idea of how to franchise your business, be ready to market and sell your franchise from the outset and you will have a much better chance of being successful.
Take our franchise quiz to help you decide if your business is franchisable.
FMS is a team of expert franchise consulting professionals based in Canada that provides solutions for franchise development, franchise consultation, and expansion of businesses globally.